In one sense, making iPad wallpaper is just like making wallpaper for any other type of display: crop your image to the appropriate size and save it at the right dpi. But the iPad is also a unique device, so there’s a few extra things you must keep in mind.
According to Apple’s tech specs the iPad has a resolution of 1024×768 at 132 pixels per inch. So, you should crop your images to 1024×768, right? Wrong!
Yes, the screen is 1024 pixels on the long side and 768 pixels on the short side. But remember that the iPad rotates its screen based on the device’s orientation, so which side of your wallpaper is the short side and which is the long side changes depending on how the user is holding their iPad. You have to take this into account when formatting your wallpaper.
So, what this means is that your wallpaper will be displayed in two different modes:
- Portrait orientation, 1024 pixels tall and 768 pixels wide.
- Landscape orientation, 768 pixels tall and 1024 pixels wide.
Now we know how to format an image for iPad wallpaper:
- Create a square 1024×1024 image that will reach the edges of the iPad display regardless or the device’s orientation.
- Crop the image so that the most important part is visible in the central 768×768 area.
- Save your image at 132 dpi.
Finally, here is a sample wallpaper from my own personal photo collection. Feel free to download and use it on your iPad.